Before we make our predictions for 2014, we’ll look back at what we predicted in January for unified communications this year and see how well we fared at guessing the future. We started 2013 by suggesting that we’d finally see mobile VoIP / VoLTE in 2013. We’re happy to report that VoLTE (Voice over LTE) is finally here, albeit largely in testing mode rather than as a commercial success. But it looks like it will still be a couple of years before VoIP/VoLTE starts to displace mass market, legacy mobile voice infrastructures in any significant way.
We expected to see 2013 bring continued demand for mobile video calling/mobile video conferences, and we believe that it has. We’ve seen numerous product and service announcements enhancing the ability to incorporate and improve mobile video as a collaboration tool.
As we predicted, the jury is still out for full-time mobile carrier support for "Rich Communication Services" (RCS) as the preferred infrastructure for global collaboration. However, we were taken by surprise at the momentum building this year for WebRTC as a protocol that can offer a real time communications and application platform support.
Our take on the importance of Microsoft's Lync Microsoft 360 was well founded, although we’re still waiting to see something “dramatic" happen with Skype integration involving Lync and 360.
Finally, we made several predictions on the consumerization of UC, and we were correct in supposing that the support for BYOD would accelerate in 2013. However, the burden for consumer-grade UC features has been largely put on over the top providers like Vonage and Facebook, or even on third party developers who write apps for mobile devices—leaving us still waiting for mobile carriers to embrace consumer-grade UC as a value-added service.